Tuesday's Mailbag: July 23rd, 2013

Daryl Smith pumped up during a game. - Sam Greenwood

How will Daryl Smith do? Will the Ravens trade for Kenny Britt? & more!

Happy Tuesday, Ravens Nation! How many of you are excited about Ravens' Training Camp starting up on Sunday? I know I am thrilled! Finally, the smell of the turf is in the air. I can't wait until the night that the Ravens face the Broncos in the season opener! Hopefully, they will be without Mr. Von Miller. Anyway, it's time to get started! Let's open some mail!

Q1: Do you think the Ravens could trade for WR Kenny Britt? - Wyeriverrat7 on BB.

Could they? Absolutely.

Will they? Probably not.

Should they? No.

Kenny Britt of the Tennessee Titans is talented and not very old at 24 years of age. Britt may be very solid on the field, but off it, he's just not the Ravens' cup of tea.

Britt has been injured before, mainly with a torn ACL and MCL, which he suffered in 2011. He also was suspended the first game of the 2012 season, due to issues with the police. He constantly gets in trouble, and we know how that could end up if we grabbed him. (Look at the Rolando McClain mistake.)

Kenny Britt can play some football, but injuries and legal trouble is the main reason to keep Britt off of the Ravens' 53-man roster.

Another reason not to trade for him is to let our younger guys get a chance and develop. The only way our guys are going to get any better is if they get playing time. If we added another WR, it would just diminish some of the younger guys' playing time.

The only way I see the Ravens trading for Britt, is if they can get him at a very cheap price. I'm talking one low draft pick, that's about it.

Q2: How do you think Daryl Smith will do? - Terrin Wilson

I think he will do fine. I'm not sure if he'll start at ILB, but if he does, he should do well.

Last season he only played two games, which is obviously not a lot. He had a groin injury that limited him last season. For this year, Smith seems to be looking and feeling good, and hopefully he can get things done while he attempts to replace Ray Lewis and/or Dannell Ellerbe.

Daryl Smith is the all-time Jaguars tackle leader, so I am hoping that he brings some of that to the Ravens. He is getting a little older and slightly beginning to decline, but for this season, I wouldn't worry about that one bit. Smith should have an impact on the team from the minute he steps into training camp.

Q3: Who do you think should start at MLB: Daryl Smith, Arthur Brown, or Jameel McClain? - Terrin Wilson

I believe it could be McClain, if he's healthy.

Obviously, McClain will not be starting training camp practicing, but he is expected to come off the PUP at some point, which means it is probable that he will be 100% ready for the season opener. McClain is a guy that we need on our defense, so it would be in our best interest to have him ready for Week 1.

Daryl Smith & Arthur Brown are two other guys that are fighting for starting positions.

It is a really tough decision to put two of these three at ILB and MLB, when they are all three capable of starting all 16 games.

No matter which two guys start, just remember that they are all very talented, and they will be able to get work done on this Ravens' defense.

Q4: Do you honestly think we can three-peat as AFC North Champs? - Terrin Wilson

Of course I do.

Let's look at our competition:

Cleveland Browns- The Browns are still rebuilding and trying to get their stuff together. They aren't a TERRIBLE team, but there is almost no way that they will win the AFC North. Keep trying, Cleveland.

Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers missed the playoffs last year, as they also came in third in the AFC North. Have they gotten any better? It doesn't seem like it. They lost James Harrison, Rashard Mendenhall, and Mike Wallace. The loss of those three guys could be HUGE for Pittsburgh, especially since they don't have a true #1 WR, and their defense is still older and a little raggedy, even with the addition of a guy like Jarvis Jones.

Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals continue to steadily improve, but do they have what it takes to win the AFC North next season? I wouldn't bet on it. Even though Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have a special connection, that seems to be the only receiver that Andy Dalton has a connection with. The running game in Cincy is questionable, the defense is decent, and the passing game isn't very hard to shut down. With these flaws, it'd be hard to say that they can win it for the third time in franchise history this year.

Although I picked the Ravens to lose to the Bengals twice in my last mailbag, I have since then taken that back. I believe that we'll defeat the Bengals in Week 10, while we lose to them in Week 17. Either way, I believe that the Ravens have a legitimate chance to win the AFC North for the third straight year.

Q5: Who do you think will lead the AFC North in Sacks? - Terrin Wilson

I don't mean to sound biased, but I believe it will be one of two Ravens:

I am leaning more towards Suggs, just because he has been a part of our defense for years, and he was also the 2011 Defensive Player-of-the-Year.

I am also thinking Dumervil will have a big shot at it, because that is something that he feeds off of.

Whoever it may be, I am hoping it will be a Raven, but I mainly see it being either Dumervil or Suggs. The Ravens have the potential to be the best pass-rushing team in the NFL next season.

Q6: Do you feel Ray Rice was robbed at the ESPY's? - Terrin Wilson

Very much so. I feel like the entire Ravens' organization was robbed at the ESPY's.

Ray Rice lost to Ray Allen's three-pointer in the fan vote, which is why it wasn't shown as one of the remaining four nominees. I feel like Ray Rice's 4th & 29 was much better than a Ray Allen three-pointer or a Jadeveon Clowney hit, but that may just be me.

As for the other Ravens, they should have at least won something. Joe Flacco was my frontrunner for Best Championship Performance, but LeBron James won it instead. Best Team was a toss-up, although I could have given it to the Ravens, as well.

The biggest one that made me mad was the Best Game category. The Ravens vs. Broncos AFC Divisional game was nominated alongside the winner, Heat vs. Spurs - NBA Finals Game 6.

The AFC Divisional game went into 2 OT's, had a Mile-High Miracle, had an underdog upsetting the #1 seed, and had a game-losing interception by one of the greatest QB's to play the game. That game also had a punt return and kick return for a touchdown, a Pick 6, and it was very high-scoring. I just don't get it.

Even though the Ravens got mugged at the ESPY's, I still know what should have happened, so I am content with that. Oh, and we also won the Super Bowl, so who cares!


Q7: How do you rank our coaching staff with the additions of Juan Castillo & Steve Spagnuolo? - Terrin Wilson

I think I can now safely say that we have an elite coaching staff.

Just look at these few guys:

  • John Harbaugh
  • Dean Pees
  • Jim Caldwell
  • Juan Castillo
  • Steve Spagnuolo
If you just talk about those five guys, you can make a case that we have one of, if not the, best coaching staff in all of the NFL.

With Harbaugh being one of the best head coaches in the league, it really helps us there.

Then you move on to offensive coordinator, where you have Jim Caldwell. Caldwell looked terrific in calling the plays and teaching the offense things after Cam Cameron was fired in the middle of the season. Once Caldwell took over, the offense looked fantastic.

If you look over at defensive coordinator, you see Dean Pees, who worked well for us last year. We struggled a little bit on defense, but now we have a much more young and talented squad, so he could do some damage.

Next you have Castillo, who is our running-game coordinator. Castillo has been working with offensive lines for years, so he will be able to strengthen our offensive line with ease.

Last you have Steve Spagnuolo as a defensive assistant. Spagnuolo didn't do too well last year with the Saints, but they also had a lack of talent and no head coach. On this defense, there are talented players, a talented head coach, and a talented defensive coordinator.

It seems to be looking up for this Ravens' coaching staff. I just hope they can lead us to the promise land again this year.


Q8: Who do you think the star of training camp will be this year? - Eric Jacob

I think there are a number of players that could be stars in this year's training camp. I'm going to go with a rookie, though.

I think the new emerging star will be rookie safety Matt Elam. He seems to be coming here to work hard, play hard, and get the job done. Elam was a star in college, and I just hope he can keep that up here in the NFL.

I have no doubts about Elam, especially since I've seen how great he can be after watching him at the University of Florida.

Only time will tell, but I think Elam will be one of the new faces of the Baltimore Ravens.


Well, that's all for Tuesday's Mailbag this week! I hope I answered every question I received. Make sure to ask me any questions about the Ravens for next week's edition! Email me questions to Victorgrayh10@gmail.com, Tweet them to me @Frezeal33, or put them in the comments below! I hope you guys have a great rest of the week! See you next time, Ravens Nation!

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